Queen’s Baton Relay In Bermuda Tomorrow

April 24, 2014

commonwealth games 2014Bermuda, the 60th stop on the Queen’s Baton Relay’s 118,000 mile and 248-day journey throughout the 71 nations of the Commonwealth, will provide an integral link when it welcomes the baton as part of the most engaging and exciting Relay in history on April 25, 2014.

Thousands of people will carry the Baton, a symbol of the unity and diversity of the Commonwealth of Nations and the core values of the Commonwealth Games Federation: humanity, equality, and destiny.

A spokesperson said, “The Queen’s Baton Relay, which was introduced upon the occasion of the Commonwealth Games in 1958 held in Cardiff, Wales, is a much-loved tradition of the Commonwealth Games, for it symbolizes the coming together of all nations and territories that comprise the Commonwealth in preparation for the Games themselves.

“The Relay began at Buckingham Palace on October 9, 2013, with Her Majesty the Queen placing her secret message of goodwill to the people of the Commonwealth in the Baton. The organizers’ vision is that the Relay will unite the Commonwealth through sport and connect and involve its citizens, especially its young people.

“It is the organizers’ hope that the Queen’s Baton Relay will be an exciting, dramatic and inclusive physical and digital countdown to the Games and that as the Baton traverses the globe, it will champion the values, successes and spirit of the Commonwealth Family.

“The excitement truly begins in Bermuda at 7.20pm on Friday, April 25 when a fanfare of trumpets will welcome the Queen’s Baton on its whirlwind weekend visit. Mr. Juman Yassin, Regional Vice President of the Americas for the Commonwealth Games Federation [CDF], will alight from an American airlines jet from Miami and hand the Queen’s Baton to Bermuda Olympic Association [BOA] Secretary General Philip Guishard.

“Minister of Tourism Development and Tourism Shawn Crockwell, BOA President Judy Simons and Commonwealth Games Silver Medalist John Morbey will be among the dignitaries at L.F. Wade International Airport to welcome the Baton.

“The Bermuda Olympic Association [BOA] has planned a detailed programme of events to celebrate the Baton’s arrival on the island. On Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27, the Baton will be received by His Excellency the Governor, the Premier, the Minister of Community, Culture and Sports and a number of other Bermuda luminaries. It will be carried by athletes, past and present, many young people and a wide cross-section of Bermuda’s population, young and old.

“The Baton will visit many of Bermuda’s most significant and beautiful locations, including King’s Square in St. George’s, Crystal Cave, Palm Grove in Devonshire, the National Sports Centre, Warwick Long Bay and WindReach Recreational Village. Additionally, early on Saturday afternoon, runners will also carry the Baton along Front, Reid, Queen and Church Streets.

“The Queen’s Baton Relay organizers, observing that approximately half of the Commonwealth’s population, is 25 years of age or under, has encouraged the participation of as many young people as possible in the Relay. Visits to schools would have been principal stops in the Baton’s journey around Bermuda.

“However, as the Baton will be in Bermuda mainly on a Saturday, the BOA, with the cooperation of the Department of Parks, has planned the Baton’s visit to the Botanical Gardens on the closing day of the Annual Exhibition, when thousands of young people are likely to be present. Bermuda’s residents of all ages will have the opportunity to witness and participate in a very special occasion as the Relay travels to the Annual Exhibition.

“Bermuda’s five Commonwealth Games medalists, Clarance ‘Nicky’ Saunders [bronze, high jump, Brisbane, Australia 1982 and gold, high jump, Auckland, New Zealand 1990]; John Morbey [silver, long jump, Kingston, Jamaica 1966], Antoine Jones, and Conrad Lister [silver, tenpin bowling, men’s doubles, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998] and Brian Wellman [bronze, triple jump, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 1994] will be featured at the Annual Exhibition and at other Relay stops.”

The Baton’s official schedule is as follows:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

8.45am – King’s Square, St. George’s
10.00am – Palm Grove, Devonshire
10.45am – Government House, Pembroke
11.30am – National Sports Centre, Devonshire
12.00pm – Birdcage, Front Street, Hamilton
12.30pm – Cabinet Office, Hamilton
1.45pm – 141 Front Street, Hamilton
2.15pm – Annual Exhibition, Botanical Gardens, Paget
3.30pm – Warwick Long Bay and South Shore, Warwick
4.00pm – WindReach Recreational Village, Warwick

Sunday, April 27, 2014

10.00am – Crystal Cave, Hamilton Parish

“The Baton will be taken to Canada on April 27 for the continuation of the Relay and will conclude with the removal and reading of Her Majesty’s message at the Games’ opening ceremonies on 23 July. The XX Commonwealth Games will then run for 11 days, until August 3, 2014.

“Bermuda is expected to have some 35 athletes competing in this summer’s Commonwealth Games in athletics, cycling, gymnastics, swimming, squash, and triathlon.”

BOA President Judy Simons said, “We are filled with excitement as the arrival of the Queen’s Baton approaches. We have planned an exciting programme and have worked hard to ensure that as many Bermudians as possible have the opportunity to participate in the Relay, either as Batonbearers or as spectators.

“We are confident that the Queen’s Baton Relay team will leave Bermuda on Sunday filled with wonderful memories and bearing stunning footage and photographic images of their stay in Bermuda. We encourage as many Bermudians as possible to come out this weekend in order to cheer the Batonbearers.”

The BOA President added, “We hope that the Baton’s presence in Bermuda will motivate our team for this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow to do their best in the various competitions.”

“Bermuda first competed in the Commonwealth Games in 1930 at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and has missed participation in the Games on only four occasions.”

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